Hidden Magic in Disney World

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The Magic is Subtle Sometimes

A quick five day trip netted these photos.  My favorite 12 out of 379 photos taken.


Fireworks from Gaston’s


Bay Lake Tower


Everest in the Distance at Animal Kingdom


First Order on the Move at Hollywood Studios


Narcoossee’s Designer Water


Pandora at Night


Classic Disney


Capturing a Rainbow


Maharajah Jungle Trek




Light Lunch Epcot


Matching the Disney Bubble – Dining

Charleston South Carolina has an amazing dining scene that is easily accessible, provides artful settings, and delicious food. These are a few of my experiences from my last visit.  I find it better than being at Disney World and I like WDW.

The Edison – Steampunk

We ended our five day WDW excursion with a visit to the Edison in Disney Springs. During lunch the place was wide open.  It was a great place to escape the heat and wander through the enormous place.  The Steampunk decor gave us plenty to look at and talk about during lunch.


The Edison in Disney Springs


Craft Cocktails – The Moscow Mule


Candied Bacon with Spicy Pickles


It looks like a super cool warehouse


The lighting stars


As does the art about light


This Tesla Shrimp Cobb was perfect


After 10:00 pm the Entertainment begins

Chocolate crusted key lime pie

In 2008 the family went to Key West, but we forgot to try the Key Lime Pie. So when we got back we started planning on our next adventure in WDW – the great Key Lime Pie adventure. In 2009 we visited twice that summer and during the trips we tasted every key lime pie on property. The Chocolate Crusted Key Lime from the Grand Floridian Cafe had a perfect score. So we continued to visit the cafe every trip for the pie. Along the way we shared it with many friends.

Then in 2015 a new chef showed up and promptly took it off the menu. We were stunned and abandoned the Grand Floridian Cafe.

So last week I wrote a letter to guest services to request a pie as a surprise for our group, and today it all worked out. The magic of Pie.



The Future of the World Showcase

With the recent announcements about a new Spaced Themed restaurant by Mission Space and the addition of an E-ticket Guardians of the Galaxy ride probably where Universe of Energy exists right now.  The Imagineer hinted that even more is coming to World Showcase in the form of additional attractions connecting the Disney movies to the Nation Pavilions. Using Frozen Ever After and the Arendelle expansion as a model, Disney plans on adding the Disneyland Paris Ratatouille ride to the vacant lot next to France.  They will be updating the China 360 movie, and they hinted at more. The full details and 9 minute video announcement here…D23 2017 Announcements

What additions make the most sense?

  1.  The Africa section is equivalent to three pavilions, so that would be easiest place to build and create something new. This might be too much of an overhaul.
  2. The easiest solution would be to add “Whole New World” Jasmine and Aladdin ride in the vacant lot between Japan and Morocco.  The little meet and greet area in the back of the Morocco stores doesn’t really accommodate the Jasmine/Aladdin demand.
  3. Then there is the opening between Germany and Italy.  From a movie standpoint – it would make sense to put a Pinocchio ride (Italy) or Tangled (Germany) and of course Snow White would be simple.
  4. My favorite option would be to add the Disneyland’s Alice and Wonderland to the United Kingdom area.

Let’s hope they keep expanding…


WDW in three photos 

There are places to go at WDW to avoid the madness and crowds.  Here are three of them. Being in Epcot at 11:00 ready to eat is one of the most relaxing parts of my trips. The ferries provide me endless entertainment. It’s a Small World reminds of what made WDW special. Innovation. 

Quiet dining in Epcot

Anthony driving the Friendship 3

Classic ride developed by Walt

A Day of Adventure at WDW

I never visited the Adventurer’s Club before it was closed down, but there are hints of it still floating around.  So, we went off in search of finding a little of that magic. We started at the Jambo House, and we stumbled on to this artifact in the Zawadi Marketplace.


A cast member at the desk suggested that we try the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd at the Magic Kingdom.  The entire staff is made up of Jungle adventurers.  Off we went.  Along the way, we were sidetracked by the allure of the Tiki Birds.


They sang of mysteries in the Jungle and treasure that we should seek.


And warned us to be on the look out for danger…


Upon arriving at the Skipper Canteen, we knew immediately that we were in the right spot.  The servers talked in riddles and clues were embedded throughout the building…



We needed to stock up on food, so we ordered Cachapas (incredible) Shu Mai, Falefel, and duck confit noodle bowls.


And enjoyed Sangria in the Magic Kingdom…


From the clues at the Navigation Company and tips from the servers we knew we must set off to explore the major rivers of the world.  So we took a cruise.


During the journey, we spent most of the time in de Nile.  We avoided anacondas, gators, hippos, and waterfalls and finally found who we were looking for…


Trader Sam said, “I’ll give you a clue – if you want to experience the Adventurer’s Club you need to find the Grog Grotto. I will tell you know more.”


My band of intrepid explorers traveled by boat across the Seven Seas Lagoon to Polynesia and there we found excitement.

We found fire!


Glowing Hippopottamai-tais


And Captain Nemo and the Nautilus – A true adventurer.


Shortly after we ran out of money, we made our way back to Africa.  And after an arduous journey we stopped in to the Nomad Lounge.


The server immediately came up to us and winked.  He led us to a special table and said, “We have been waiting for you.”  He brought out a specially brewed beer for the Nomad Club.

He smiled, and said, “Kungaloosh!”


It’s the little things at WDW. 

These are a few of my favorite things at Walt Disney World. I wish I didn’t have to pay a $600+ cover charge to enjoy the food. But nonetheless, I pay – and I enjoy. 

An Anhinga at Disney Springs

Sorcerer Mickey at the Contemporary

Shooting pool on the pier

Black Cherry Mules at Geyser Point

The impotent Geyser at Wilderness Lodge

Flaming uh-oa at Trader Sam’s.

Animal Kingdom at Night. Stunning

Moroccan coffee at Spice Road Table

The Stars bust loose.

Duck Confit Sliders at Brown Derby Lounge

Tiers at Disney Animal Kingdom? A Capacity Analysis.

Based on the chart below, it looks like Disney Animal Kingdom after Pandora opens will still have less High Quality Ride Capacity than Hollywood Studios.  If Animal Kingdom sees a spike in their attendance and there will be a high demand for the new rides (Avatar: Flight of Passage & Na’vi River River Journey), then it seems that tiers are inevitable.

Magic Kingdom (No Tiers)

Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios (Tiers)

Disney Animal Kingdom – After Pandora Opens (Tiers?)

Magic Kingdom Epcot Hollywood Studios Disney Animal Kingdom
Average Attendance 60000 40000 35000 35000
High Attendance 90000 60000 55000 60000
Total FP+ Capacity 249165 108017 112728 105475
High Quality FP+ Capacity 149500 44513 65922 62860
Average Quality FP+ Capacity 99665 63504 46806 42615
% of Quality FP+ Capacity 0.60 0.41 0.58 0.60
# FP+ per Average Attendance 4.15 2.70 3.22 3.01
# FP+ per High Attendance 2.77 1.80 2.05 1.76
# High Quality FP+ per High Attendance 1.66 0.74 1.20 1.05

Bavaria the First Disneyland?

It looks like King Ludwig II of Bavaria created the Disney experience before Walt stumbled on to it.  Ludwig created a Fantasyland based on the works of Richard Wagner in the Alps of Bavaria.  The Neuschwanstein castle was completely designed to bring the operas come alive.  One of the rooms of the castle was a replica of a cave including Stalactites.  He wanted an entire floor designed in the Moorish tradition.  At the Linderhof Palace he recreated the Blue Grotto and built a moat that included Swan Boats from the Swan King story.  He loved the concept of World Fairs and purchased some of the items from fairs that he attended.

For his work in bringing fantasy to life, a group of his government had him declared insane and then promptly had him drowned in a lake along with his doctor.

Walt Disney clearly borrowed a lot of his ideas and took the concept much further.  Disney also had a much better fate.

Also, the medieval city of Rothenberg is clearly the model for the Germany Pavilion in Epoct.  This little Bavarian tourist town has all the elements of the Epcot version.










St. George and the Dragon


Christmas Store




Beer Hall and Hotel outside of Rothenberg